The Consumer Participation Fund provides financial resources to support consumer participation in the development of standards, with a primary focus on health and safety standards. Launched in May 2022, the Institute-administered fund reimburses eligible travel expenses and participation fees incurred by consumer representatives participating in an activity that is related to the development of a new or revised American National Standard (ANS) sponsored by an ANSI-accredited standards developer.
Given the importance of consumer participation, ANSI has established the fund with the support of five founding sponsors from the ANSI membership community—ASTM International, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), NSF International, UL Standards & Engagement (ULSE), and the Toy Association.
Please review more details about what expenses are eligible for reimbursement on the "Fund Background and Scope" tab and fill out the form on the “Participation Reimbursement Application” tab.
ANSI, with input from its Consumer Interest Forum, established the Consumer Participation Fund to encourage and foster participation by consumers—an important stakeholder group often underrepresented in standards development activities.
Both consumer representatives and standards developers cite lack of funding as a barrier to consumer participation in standards development (see roundtable report). Individual consumers, consumer advocacy groups, and public interest groups often are unable to cover the financial costs associated with sustained participation in the development of a standard. Many of these groups are non-profit grassroots organizations dependent on small and/or volunteer staffs and limited funds. The Fund is also for individuals; often consumer representatives who wish to participate are not affiliated with a nonprofit at all, and spend their own funds to participate. The Consumer Participation Fund hopes to help alleviate the financial burden for consumers and/or consumer group representatives who want to be involved in the standards development process. ANSI continues to evaluate the program and the needs of consumers as we determine eligible activities for reimbursement.
Expenses eligible for reimbursement may include travel expenses (transportation, hotel, food per diem) plus participation fees, if applicable, related to participation and/or attendance by a consumer representative in/at an activity. ANSI staff will determine allowable expenses at the time of application on a case-by-case basis and will determine and advise the applicant which expenses will be acceptable (and maximum allowable expenses) at the time of notification of approval of their application.
For mileage – if you use your own vehicle to drive to the meeting, please estimate mileage. You will be reimbursed using the 58.5 cents per mile driven for attending the meeting, as per the US government’s General Services Administration current guidelines (https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates). Should GSA change this amount, which is done annually, this form will be updated. Also please note that for our reimbursement tool (Concur), we will require a W9; https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf. As this is a reimbursement, we will not be providing this financial information to the IRS.
Permitted allowances for expenses will adhere to the location-based U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) per diem rates.
To apply for reimbursement of participation expenses, please fill out the application on the “Participation Reimbursement Application” tab on this page.